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The Circle Maker

John Zorn

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Album Review

This two-disc release captures beautiful and refined music that makes full use of two ensembles' extraordinary musicianship. Drawing from John Zorn's Masada songbook are the Masada String Trio and the Bar Kokhba Sextet. Each ensemble fills one CD with beautiful chamber jazz woven around a heart of Jewish melodies. Zorn skeptics will find the superb and elegant music on The Circle Maker surprisingly stable and accessible. This is a fitting successor to the other Masada works that Zorn doesn't actually perform on — the first Masada chamber project, Bar Kokhba, and Film Works, Vol. 8, whose recording session wrapped up weeks before this weekend date of December 1997. Issachar is the name of the disc on which bassist Greg Cohen, cellist Erik Friedlander, and violinist Mark Feldman perform. Zevulun features the Bar Kokhba Sextet: the Masada String Trio plus drummer Joey Baron, percussionist Cyro Baptista, and guitarist Marc Ribot. All of these musicians are accomplished in jazz and improvised music, and have performed extensively in world and/or classical settings as well. The Circle Maker is a very necessary recording for all appreciators of chamber jazz, new Jewish music, or any of these stellar musicians.

Biography

Born: 02 September 1953 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The one word virtually everyone can agree on in any discussion of the work of composer John Zorn is "prolific," in the strictest sense of the definition. Though he didn't begin making records until 1980, the recordings under his own name number well over 100, and the sheer number of works he has performed on, composed, or produced easily doubles that number. Though now an internationally renowned musician and the founder and owner of the wildly successful and equally prolific Tzadik imprint, Zorn...
Full bio